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First female Rector of Pontifical University.

This past July, the Congregation for Catholic Education chose Sister Mary Melone to head the Pontifical University Antonianum, run by the Order of Friars Minor.

Sister Mary was born in La Spezia in 1964 and made her perpetual vows with the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina in 1991. She has held numerous leading roles in academia, has published many articles and is currently president of the Italian Society for Theological Research.

In a recent interview Sister Mary acknowledged that the role of women in the Church is changing, allowing women to assume greater roles of responsibility. Those changes had already begun with previous pontiffs, and Pope Francis is continuing the process. She does not accept the "glass ceiling" mentality which is prevalent in secular society. "I do not think women should nourish a mentality of conquest in matters of the Church and of governing roles. This must not be our attitude; we women have always contributed to building the Church in a unique, precious and irreplaceable way, even if it is often unknown.

With respect to her specific appointment to the Pontifical University, Sister Mary emphasizes that academic excellence, rather than sex as the determining factor: "The role of rector requires essentially academic competence, which has nothing to do with being a man or a woman. The challenges regard the capacity of a university institution to open itself to our time while keeping itself anchored in its tradition ... It seems to me that feminine sensibility gives much importance to relations, to the traits of listening and hospitality that they must have."

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Title Annotation:UKRAINE; Mary Melone of Pontifical University Antonianum
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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